‘Monroe’ star: Watching heart surgery was ‘awe-inspiring experience’

Sarah Parish (Doctor Who: ‘The Runaway Bride’) has revealed how she got “up close and personal” watching heart surgery in preparation for her role as a cardiac surgeon in ITV1’s new medical drama Monroe, which begins next month.

She told ITV Press Centre: “I know a heart surgeon in Southampton, so I called him as soon as I got the job and he invited me to come and watch a couple of operations. I figured I would be at the back of the room but I was right at the head of the patient where the anaesthetist stands, getting up close and personal!”

She continued: “It was the most awe-inspiring experience. I felt very privileged to be there watching the medical team perform an incredible job. They were so calm, I’d imagined it to be a very tense atmosphere but it’s not at all. It’s like a beautifully choreographed ballet and before you know it four hours have passed and you’ve been standing in the same spot the whole time.”

Written and created by Peter Bowker (Occupation, Desperate Romantics), the six-part series also stars James Nesbitt (Jekyll, Murphy’s Law) and Tom Riley (Bouquet Of Barbed Wire).

Discussing her character, Jenny Bremner, Parish admitted: “I tend to get cast a lot as strong women and Bremner is very much the strongest of them all, there’s no doubt about that! To play someone that is so supremely confident is quite refreshing.”